Sunday, 21 October 2007


Convergence technologies are gaining momentum f to reach more and more people in the world. All these are gaining a global scale. Now the services impact not :gion but the whole country or even many countries. re are too many technologies proliferating in different Revision delivery is one such service which a few years restricted to terrestrial broadcasting and now has given Cable TV, DTH, IPTV and now Mobile TV. With the ig popularity of Television and lowering of cost of gy, it has become essential to frame regulations to he exploitation of the consumers by these technology s. After dealing with Cable TV and DTH, TRAI, the r has now fixed its gaze at IPTV and Mobile TV and msultation papers for a public debate. 

Issues relating TO Mobile TV 
Pelecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) released tation paper on issues relating to Mobile Television. television services refer to provision of television to subscribers for viewing on handheld or portable such as mobile phones. The television content can be I through the mobile telecommunications networks or the broadcasting technologies. 
idia, Doordarshan has already launched its mobile TV in Delhi on trial basis. The Ministry of Information & asting, Government of India, has sought endations of the TRAI on various issues relating to television services, such as international practice, ty criteria, net-worth requirement, foreign direct and investment levels, technology to be adopted, revenue entry fees, bank guarantee, and spectrum to be used. 
consultation paper of TRAI seeks views from Iders on various policy issues relating to mobile m service. The main issues on which comments have ight are-;rred technology for mobile television service
(1) Preference for Satellite/ Terrestrial system
(2) Spectrum requirements for analogue/ Digital/ Mobile TV terrestrial broadcasting
(3) Methodology for frequency spectrum allocation
(4) Eligibility conditions for grant of license
(5) Net worth requirements
(6) The limits forFDI and portfolio investment
(7) The tenure of license
(8) The license fee - revenue share system or any other system
(9) Licenses on national/regional/ city basis. The comments received will be posted on TRAI's website. The full text of the consultation paper is available on TRAI's website: www.trai.goyJn. 
Provisioning of IPTV Services 
IPTV is provision of television signals using Internet Protocol to the subscribers. Although IPTV services have been commenced by MTNL, BSNL and Bharti Airtel, there are no regulations existing for the service. The provisioning of IPTV services has been engaging attention of TRAI for some time due to lack of clarity on who can provide IPTV services. TRAI proposed draft modification in existing Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995 and sought opinion of stakeholders on 6th June 2006. 
After due deliberations with the stakeholders, the Authority felt that in-depth analysis is required to address the issues related to provision of IPTV services. Some of these are: 
a) Technological requirement of IPTV services to deliver content through a Set Top Box (STB) may lead to non-compliance of Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act, 1995 in reference to delivery of Free-To-Air channels without needing an addressable system. 
b) 'Use of different devices by different service providers and lack of standardization for IPTV STB may violate the Cable Television Networks (Regulations) Act, 1995 in reference to use of equipment conforming to Indian Standards. 
c) Applicability of FDI norms, down-linking guidelines and programme codes on Unified Access Services licensees licensed under Telegraph Act providing IPTV services. 
In span of about 12 years, radical advances in technology, market institutions, forward looking Government policies and regulatory policy backed with sinews of competition have transformed telecommunication sector. Thus, it is necessary on a continuous basis to encourage regulatory framework that foster innovation, investment and new services. Any forward looking analysis in the context of ongoing convergence must be technology neutral, given the type of dynamic changes that may result from future delivery of services based on different technologies. The TRAI has deliberated at length on all the relevant issues regarding provision of IPTV services considering technology neutral approach and has come out with certain observations. These observations are: 
a) Both telecom service providers having license to provide triple play services under Telegraph Act and Cable TV operators registered under Cable Television Network (Regulation) Act 1995 can provide IPTV service without requiring any further license orregistration. 
b) The content will be regulated under Up-1 inking/Downlinking guidelines issued by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting. 
c) There should be no bar on Broadcasters / content providers to provide their content to IPTV service providers also. 
d) Any breach of the provisions of Act/ License/ Registration/Permission by telecom service provider/cable operator/Broadcaster shall be dealt with by designated agencies, which are responsible for administering such Acts/License/Registration/Permission. 
The Authority hopes that the Position Paper addresses the grey area and will encourage stakeholders to provide IPTV Services. The complete Position Paper is available on our website


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